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Structurally intact and functionally incompetent foveal triangular fibrocartilage complex injuries

an under-recognized spectrum of injury

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Injury to the triangular fibrocartilage complex (TFCC) may result in ulnar wrist pain with or without instability. One component of the TFCC, the radioulnar ligaments, serve as the primary soft-tissue stabilizer of the distal radioulnar joint (DRUJ). Tears or avulsions of its proximal, foveal attachment are thought to be associated with instability of the DRUJ, most noticed during loaded pronosupination. In the absence of detectable instability, injury of the foveal insertion of the radioulnar ligaments may be overlooked. While advanced imaging techniques such as MRI and radiocarpal arthroscopy are well-suited for diagnosing central and distal TFCC tears, partial and complete foveal tears without instability may be missed without a high degree of suspicion. While technically challenging, DRUJ arthroscopy provides the most accurate method of detecting foveal abnormalities. In this annotation the spectrum of foveal injuries is discussed and a modified classification scheme is proposed.

Cite this article: Bone Joint J 2023;105-B(1):5–10.

Correspondence should be sent to Sanj Kakar. E-mail:

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